Tag Archives: New York

PSA: Winter is Here.

Hello hello!

If you follow my Instagram, you know winter has finally hit upstate New York.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoOh joy.

THANK GOD, I have sunny Florida to look forward to mid-January! In case you missed it, my mom and I have picked out our next race and state – the Clearwater Distance Classic! From the race website –

“It might be the most challenging half marathon in Florida, with two ascents each over two relatively tall bridges connecting Clearwater to the barrier islands. It might be Florida’s most scenic half marathon, as the entire course is within 1/4 mile of Clearwater Bay and / or the Gulf of Mexico.”

I’m pretty excited. Those bridges sound tough, but after having survived running 26.2 miles in September, I’m pretty sure I can handle 13.1 miles plus a couple of hills. 😉 My mom and I were originally hoping to do one of the Disney races as our Florida race, but we ended up missing the registration opening, and it filled up crazy fast. A Disney race is definitely still on the bucket list, it just won’t be this year.

I would love to really train hard for this and to push myself for a new PR, and I even found a Hal Higdon training plan for if I do decide to go for it. But… I’m not sure it’s going to happen.

Advanced Half Marathon PlanIt’s super early in the winter, and the snow is already hitting pretty hard. Between the weather and the craziness that is college finals, I’m just not sure I’ll be able to get in enough running. But I’m keeping the idea on the back-burner for now.

Given that it has been snowy, and I haven’t wanted to take my life in my hands by running in these perilous conditions, I’ve been continuing to try out new Fitnessblender workouts! This week, I tried

  • 30 Minute Brutal Butt and Thigh WorkoutDrop it Like a Squat! (The title was highly accurate. There were a ton of squats, and my legs are still sore two days later.) This workout was the perfect excuse for me to try this Soakology muscle relief gel my mom sent to me from her recent trip to Maine.

Soakology Muscle Gel for Sore Muscles

It was kind of like a fancy Icy-Hot lotion, and I loved it! I put it on the back of my legs where I was the most sore, and it made my muscles all tingly and cold. Which might sound odd, but I promise it actually felt pretty darn good! If this sounds interesting to you, the same gel can be purchased here.

  • Yesterday, I had a bit of workout video ADD. I first tried this Standing Abs Workout, but after 10 minutes or so, I decided to switch to something else. I’m not very flexible, and I felt like these exercises weren’t working very well for me because I just couldn’t get the range of motion for them to be challenging. So I did this Fast Abs 8-Minute Workout instead, which was much more manageable for me. And then, I topped it off with my favorite Tank Top Arms Workout!

Thank god I discovered Fitnessblender’s YouTube channel! These videos have been a lifesaver for times like these where weather has gotten in the way of my runs, and I feel like it’s so much easier for me to find the motivation to do these workouts since I can do them right in my room without having to drag myself to the gym. True story – I did the arms workout in my pajama pants the other day. 😉 Because I can be lazy and still desire to workout.

Happy Hump Day and have a good rest of the week!

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What it Means To Graduate Early

Happy Wednesday everyone! Good news – the week is halfway done! 😉

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while, but have been putting off (I guess sometimes it’s easier to live in denial). In December, I will be graduating and leaving the school I have called my home for the past 3 and half years. I don’t want to sound childish, but it is scary to think that in less than two months I’ll be moving on to a new stage of my life. It’s scary and exciting and nerve-racking and I have a million emotions just thinking about it now. I know that it’s time, and that this is how college is supposed to work (i.e., you eventually graduate), but at the same time it’s hard to think about leaving a place that’s become so close to my heart.

I don’t want this to be a sad post though. I don’t want to depress myself or any of you! I simply want to look back at what has made my time here so incredible, and as a reminder to myself to keep soaking up every last moment while I still can. Because what seemed so absurdly far away on move-in day freshman year, now is a tangible date on the calendar.

What it Means to Graduate Early

What it Means to Graduate Early. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoIt means looking back fondly on what it was like to join my sisterhood.

What it means to graduate early

And all the joy it brought you.

What it Means to Graduate Early, Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

It means remembering the place where I first ran a sub-2 hour half marathon (in spite of the challenging course).

What it Means to Graduate Early, Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

It means saying goodbye to walks to class in the crisp Fall air and taking in the beauty of campus.

What it Means to Graduate Early

And appreciating that beauty even more as you watch the seasons change.

What it means to graduate early

It means being grateful for some of the best friendships you’ve ever had.

What it means to graduate early

And looking back on all the times when you laughed until you cried.

What it means to graduate early

And trying to hold onto a moment, when just like that, it’s passed.

 I am so incredibly lucky to have had such an amazing college experience. And all I can hope is that I continue to soak up these moments for the next two months. Because that’s all you can do: appreciate those times as they come, because before you know it, they’re just a memory.

Have a great day!

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Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! If you’ve watched any football at all lately, you’ve probably noticed all the players wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (who knew that so many football accessories came in pink?!). I was glad I got to join in the fun this month by participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Sunday with my sorority.

I participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

It seems like our Indian summer has finally come to an end, as it was a brisk 40 degree morning.

Me and some of my sisters at the Making Strides against breast cancer walk

Me and my sisters at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

My sorority sister who also ran the Rochester Marathon was walking as well, and we joked about having “flashbacks” as we walked the course! This time, we were only walking a mile (not running 26.2!) so it was a wee bit easier. Doesn’t it look familiar? 😉

The making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Rochester NY

I loved all the positive energy and excitement from all the walkers coming together for this cause. It’s really an amazing feeling to participate in events like this, with so many people celebrating the fight against breast cancer. There was even live music along the course which added to the festive atmosphere!

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Rochester NY

I had so much fun checking out all the pink costumes and outfits.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, Rochester NYAnd pink garbage trucks!

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Rochester NYWhat a great event! 🙂

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Are you enjoying watching football players wear pink? 😉

 

 

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My Mom’s Thoughts on the Roc Marathon

Hi again!

Sorry for the long break, once again. Between classes and my toenail probs, finding the time to post has been tricky! I’m pleased to report however, that the toenail is on the mend, and I was even able to run a nice easy 3-miler this morning! 🙂 But without further ado…

Rochester Marathon Recap

When I was 25 I occasionally ran with a neighbor who was training for  the NYC marathon. ..he and I would run about 5 miles together down to Huntington Harbor and back,  and then he would take off to do another ten miles –or more. I was a bit in awe of Bill, who was 55 a the time, but I never  considered joining him, and I never, EVER thought that, at 55,  I would run my first marathon.

So, if you’re out there Bill P. from Huntington NY, and you happen to read this blog, I thank you for being an inspiration, (even if it took me 25 years to act on it) and I hope that wherever you are, you are still running!

And now to pick up where Nora left off:

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Somewhere   along the canal it began to rain and though it was a pleasant drizzle that cooled me off, the sky to my right – the direction the course would take me – looked  very ominous and I was sure this pleasant drizzle would turn into a monsoon before I got to the finish. (It would, but more about that later.)

I am pleased to say, I kept to my plan, of running a mile, and walking a minute, and managed to do this until mile 21. At that point I realized I wasn’t going to be “busting loose” or dropping the walking breaks, in fact, I started to walk a bit more.  At first I felt guilty about this, but as I started to see more and more runners on the side of the road (some obviously feeling much worse than me), I decided there was no shame in the walking, and reminded myself that this was my first marathon and that the goal was to finish, and to enjoy the experience, and that was what I decided to do. I started to walk as fast as I could, (my slowest of these last few splits ended up being 12:46 so not too bad), running for short stretches, and taking the time to thank volunteers and spectators alike. Like Nora, I really appreciated the fun signs!

Finally, I was making   my way back into the city,   relieved to know the end was in sight.  I also noticed there were some large puddles and one officer had hung his rain jacket from the window of his patrol car. It flapped as I went by and he smiled and said, “Trying to get it to dry out.”  I realized it had rained here, but that somehow, I had been spared. (It was my marathon miracle!)

And then I was crossing the finish line!! Nora was there with her boyfriend and they were a welcome sight. 🙂

I quickly realized I had no fine motor skills left and could not unlock my phone to stop Mapmyrun, (the app I use on my phone to log my miles) so I handed it off to Nora who took care of that. I was pretty excited and wobbly, and a gentleman came over with a wheel chair, just in case I toppled over.  I didn’t but it was close!

After walking about and drinking some chocolate milk, Nora and I realized we really didn’t feel like eating anything (never a problem after a half marathon!)  and we  decided it might be best to get back to our hosts’(my sister and her husband)  house, and relax there.  (It never occurred to me to check the results in case I had placed in my age division. Later I found out, I PLACED THIRD!)  We began to walk to where Nora’s boyfriend had parked his car. And then it hit: a veritable monsoon of wind and rain that moved like a wall of water across the streets, whipping down the fences at the finishing chute, and drenching us, and the runners we saw making their way to the finish! By the time we got to the car we looked like drowned cats and I texted my sister that we would need towels! Now cold and wet, I couldn’t help feeling badly for the runners still on the course, and hoping they would not have far to run.

Celebrating our first marathon

After hot showers, and a celebratory glass of champagne, we headed to the spa, for our much anticipated, and much needed massages. It seemed somehow inappropriate to take our phones into the relaxing atmosphere, so we left them in the little lockers provided so sadly, we have no pictures of the lovely facilities. 😦 But needless to say, it was the perfect antidote to running 26.2 miles! (Though I did have to jump off the table because of a cramp in my calf, which was slightly embarrassing.) Nevertheless,  Nora and I have decided that this will definitely have to be a post marathon tradition.

So a big thank you  to our hosts, my sister and her husband,  who made their home available, who fed us, and cheered us on; to Nora’s boyfriend for driving out to support us, and shuttling us around; to the city of Rochester, its  police force, the volunteers, and the great spectators, who came out despite the rain.

Rochester Marathon Recap

To all of you, thank you for helping Nora and I check off the great state of New York in spectacular fashion!!

Running Tattoos

P.S. one of those tattoos isn’t real… 😉

 

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The Rochester Marathon

We did it.

My Mom and I can both officially say now that we are marathoners. After months of training and reading anything and everything about marathons, we finally went out and completed 26.2 miles. There was uncertainty, crazy weather, and blackened toenails, but we made it.

Let me start from the beginning though. 🙂

Late in the afternoon on Friday, my mom made the long drive up and picked me up from school. It was fantastic to see her again and we chatted the whole time as we made the drive into Rochester. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle, so it was a great mini-family reunion. Friday night, we just relaxed, ate pizza and visited, before turning in for an early bedtime. We wanted to make sure we got plenty of rest in preparation for Sunday.

Saturday, we slept in a little, before going for a gentle 2-mile jog, as prescribed in the training plan my mom and I followed. We were also keeping a close eye on the weather that morning, as the forecast for Sunday was looking awful. There was a strong chance of severe thunderstorms from 6 am on throughout the whole day. In the paper, there was an article that explained that if there was thunder at the start time (7:30), then the race would be delayed ten minutes. If the thunder continued – the race would be cancelled. My mom and I were freaking out. At that point, I felt like I would gladly run through the pouring rain, as long as I got the chance at my marathon.

So obviously, we were pretty concerned. We went to pick up our packets as usual though, hoping for the best. Packet pick-up was held at a local running store, Fleet Feet, and it was hopping when we arrived.

At packet pick-up for the Rochester Marathon

My mom and I loved the race shirts, but we were also excited to pick out another commemorative, first-marathon-ever shirt! We both went with these awesome long-sleeve Nike running shirts.

Rochester Marathon Shirt

We tried to stay relaxed on Saturday, but the weather reports continued to predict strong chances for thunderstorms. We organized our running materials that evening – putting pins on our bibs, packing our GU’s in our fuel belts (I wanted to do one every 5 miles through mile 20, at which point I was going to switch to Sports Beans aka jelly beans for runners). With the predictions for rain, my mom and I both made sure to bring hats to help keep the rain off our faces.

We had a simple meal for dinner that night to round out our carbo-loading routine – grilled chicken and baked potatoes. After that, it was a little TV and then bed time.

While I had a little trouble falling asleep, I was shocked at how well I slept until the alarm started ringing at 5 am. My mom and I quickly got up and started prepping the coffee and bagels (with almond butter and raspberry jam of course – our favorite!). It was a little hard to stomach at such an early hour, but we knew it was important to eat early so we would have time to digest a bit before the race began.

A friend of mine from school was running the race as well, and she got dropped off at my Aunt and Uncle’s so that we could bring her to the start with us. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather as we drove into the city of Rochester – a little cloudy, but warm with no rain!

We checked our bags (complete with all the necessary post-race items, including sweats, Snickers bars, and a hairbrush. All completely essential.), and made a last porta-potty stop. Kudos to the race organizers for having enough porta-potties to accommodate all the runners, as this always seems to be problematic!

At the start of the Rochester Marathon

Then, we excitedly went to the starting chute. Of course, there was time for some pre-race selfies.

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

We stretched for a few minutes and I reveled in the fact that it was not raining on us. I think all my worry about the weather left me feeling more excited for the race than nervous. Then, the race announcer led us with a moment of silence for a Rochester police officer, Daryl Pierson, who was shot and killed three weeks ago. It was a touching moment, and so important for us as runners to show our appreciation, as the entire Rochester police department was out, directing traffic and lining the course to help keep us safe and the race running smoothly.

Next, the National Anthem played… and we were off and running our first marathon!!! Ahhhhh!

Along the course of the Rochester Marathon

With all the excitement, the first few miles flew by, but my mom and I did a great job pacing ourselves and sticking to our Galloway method-inspired strategy: run a mile and walk a minute. I really enjoyed checking out the beautiful 19th and early 20th century mansions that we passed along East Avenue.

Mansions along East Avenue. Rochester Marathon

Absolutely beautiful. We continued along, sticking to a pace around 10:30 minutes/mile. Just before mile 5, we came up on our cheering section who surprised us with this awesome poster. 🙂

Of course, we had to stop to take a picture.

We had to stop to take a picture.

As we continued along, my mom started telling me to take off. I was feeling great at the pace we were running, but she wanted to dial it back a little because of the humidity we were dealing with. We had planned on staying together longer over the 26 miles, but with her blessing and some good luck wishes on both our parts, I headed off.

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Around Mile 6 or 7 (I think… it’s all blurring together a bit), we turned off and ran along the Erie Canal bike path, which was pretty, despite the clouds rolling in. Soon thereafter, it started to rain – and I thought to myself, “This is it. It’s going to pour, and I’m either going to have to run another 15+ miles soaking wet or it’s going to thunder and they’re going to pull us off the course.”

Thank god that’s not what happened. It rained lightly for maybe 15 minutes, just enough to cool me off, and then it stopped! It was a marathon miracle. 🙂

I was feeling great, and got super excited when I reached the 13 mile marker – halfway done! And I kept feeling great through mile 18, and that’s when it truly started to feel like a marathon. My big toe was starting to hurt (ironically, not on the foot where I struggled with my EHL strain – that foot held up like a champ.). I was running behind someone with a shirt that read “Black Toe Racing”, and I remember thinking a lot about the foreshadowing and symbolism of that. 😉

I kept chugging along though, desperately looking forward to each 1 minute walking break whenever I completed another mile. While I cherished those breaks, I noticed that after about 19 miles, it hurt just as much (if not more) to walk as it did to run. Ugh.

Around mile 20 of the Rochester Marathon

I certainly wasn’t the only one taking walking breaks by this point though.

The last 6.2 miles were the most challenging miles I’ve ever run. I knew I was close to being done, and I just wanted to cross that finish line and for the RUNNING TO STOP. Thank goodness for all the fantastic spectators along the course, and for the people who cheered for me, reading my name off my bib and encouraging me that I was almost done. I also loved all the creative signs –

  • Toenails are for sissies (so true.)
  • Keep Calm and Don’t Poop Yourself. (Also excellent advice.)
  • You’ve been training for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married. (gotta love humor at the expense of the Kardashians.)

FINALLY, I was turning off the canal path, back onto the major roads, and knew I was close to being done. I passed the 26 mile marker, and I pushed it into high gear. Next thing I knew, I was crossing the finish line in 4 hours, 36 minutes. I look pretty damn good for having just run 26.2 miles, right?!

Finishing the Rochester Marathon

Marathon complete.

I was so happy to be done, and to see my boyfriend at the finish. It was good that he was there, because I kept losing my balance and tilting over. Also, my fine motor skills were shot, which made texting interesting.

I couldn't text at all after running a marathon

I tried to type “I’m done” and autocorrect thought I was trying to say “I’m conspiracy”. So that shows you how successful I was. 😉 After that, I made my boyfriend send the texts. We also took some snapchats to send to my friends at school, who had been amazing about sending me congratulatory and good luck texts-

post marathon

And some regular pictures. In between bites of a bagel, obviously.

After finishing the Rochester Marathon

My mom also ran an incredible race (SHE GOT THIRD IN HER AGE GROUP!!!) and finished in 4 hours, 58 minutes.

What an amazing race. After so much concern over my EHL strain and the fears about the weather,  I feel so lucky that I was able to run my marathon. After 9 half marathons, it was time, for both my mom and I.

More marathon reflections are coming, but this post has already gotten ridiculously long. Thanks for reading it and also, thank you SO, SO MUCH for all the advice, and good luck messages sent our way through this blog. It meant the world to us to have so many people rooting for us.

 

 

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Running Long and Volunteering

Happy Labor Day everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend. As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to test myself with a ten mile run on Friday. I wasn’t sure if my foot would cooperate with the increase in mileage, but I was excited to give it a shot!

I woke up bright and early, drank a cup of coffee while eating some toast with peanut butter, and grabbed two GU’s to power me through. I was super excited to try a new flavor – salted caramel! We had ordered them just before my foot started bothering me, and so I had never gotten to test this delicious-sounding flavor. Instead, I jealously watched my mom use them! 😉

Salted Caramel GU - testing a new flavor of gels!

I decided to run along the same course of the race that I was volunteering at on Sunday, the Oak Tree Half Marathon. It’s a gorgeous course that runs through conservation land, and it was gloriously quiet. I think two cars total passed me while I was on that stretch of the run. I also saw four deer bounding away through one of the fields, which added to the peaceful setting.

Beautiful 10 mile run during marathon training

Long story short, it was a fantastic run. The salted caramel GU – so good! I think vanilla might still be my favorite, but this would be a close second. 🙂 And *drumroll please*… my foot didn’t bother me! Yay!

10 mile run

At mile 8, I ended up walking up most of this giant hill which is why I slowed down a lot, but I was happy with the speedy negative splits that I hit on miles 9 and 10! Now that I know I can handle 10 miles, it’s time to test it again this week with an 18-20 miler.

On Saturday and Sunday, I helped out with the Oak Tree Half Marathon. I ran the race last year and really enjoyed it! It was also the first race where I broke 2 hours in the half marathon. It’s a fantastic race that is put on to benefit the Genesee Valley Conservancy and I was really happy to be involved in it this year. Saturday evening, I helped with packet pick-up and got to meet a lot of friendly and excited runners. The running community is so fantastic and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. Sunday, I got up bright and early to help with race-day registration.

Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse, and it ended up being a cool, rainy morning. Not terrible for running in, but not great if you’re standing around outside as a volunteer! The runners didn’t seem to mind the conditions though, as a course record was set in the half marathon with a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes. That is just over a 5 minute mile. Pretty freakin’ incredible.

Kip Tisia won the half marathon, setting a new course record in the process!

Kip Tisia won the half marathon, setting a new course record in the process!

Kip Tisia, winner of the Oak Tree Half Marathon

Today, I relaxed and enjoyed the day off from classes. 🙂 I slept in, went for a 6-mile run, and caught up on some homework. So overall, it was a pretty darn good weekend!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

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I’m Back!

Hello again! 🙂

Sorry for being gone a few days, I was visiting a certain someone in New York!

My Visit to New York

It was a fun trip filled with  scenic views-

Chittenango Falls

this moment

And goats. Because they’re cute.

Cute little goat!

After a few days away (and more rest for my foot), I was excited to try running again. Confession – I ran 3 miles last Monday (well, ran/walked every few minutes), and it felt fine. So I was feeling hopeful.

I set out on Sunday morning with my mom to attempt 5 miles (she was running 13). I felt really good initially, and decreased my walk breaks to one minute every mile. Well, it didn’t work unfortunately… At first, my foot felt fine, but then around mile 2 and a half, it  just felt sort of uncomfortable, like something was not quite right, but not exactly painful. By mile 3, it was painful again.

So possibly I tried for too much too soon. But it’s incredibly frustrating, because the marathon is just over a month away. And I can barely run 3 miles right now. Not good. 😦 I don’t want to dwell on the negative stuff though! I still have more physical therapy, I’m planning on getting some new running sneakers to better accommodate my high arches, and I’m still getting in plenty of workouts. So we’ll just have to wait and see what September brings.

My mom did great again with her 13 miles though! Check out how consistent those splits are!

Consistent mile splits during marathon training

Now, she’s just got to keep that up for another 13, and she’ll be golden. 🙂

 

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